Photo essay. Yannis Behrakis led Reuters' coverage of the refugee crisis from Greece, for which the news agency won a Pulitzer Prize this week.

Human odyssey

In recent months, il manifesto has devoted countless front pages, news articles, analysis and interviews to the stories and tragedies of millions of people arriving on the shores of Europe. Taken together, the work of Reuters photojournalist Yannis Behrakis (distributed in Italy by LaPresse) in 2015 is an exposé that leaves no shadows, nor leaves any of us indifferent. On Tuesday, Behrakis and Reuters were honored with a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography for coverage of the refugee crisis.

I have been covering refugees and migrants for over 25 years. The difference this time was that migrants were arriving in my homeland.
— Yannis Behrakis

1) Lesbos, Greece, October 20, 2015

An Afghan family embraces upon arrival on a beach in Lesbos, Greece, after crossing from Turkey in an overloaded boat. According to the U.N., the number of migrants arrived in Europe by sea this year will come to 1 million people. Half of these are Syrians fleeing the war. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis – LaPresse

2) Lesbos, Greece, September 17, 2015

A local man helps a Syrian refugee who jumped off board from a dinghy as he swims exhausted at a beach on the Greek island of Lesbos September 17, 2015. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis – LaPresse

3) Kos, Greece, August 15, 2015

A tourist walks past an Iranian migrant collapsed on the beach near his wife and son after arriving aboard a boat without a motor at a beach in Kos, Greece. Behrakis said: “It was a typical summer morning in Kos. With binoculars, I noticed off a small boat carrying six or eight people. A luxury yacht passed it, while the people on board desperately rowed when the captain of the yacht had not seen them. On board he was also a woman and a child. The sea was calm and they were all wearing life jackets. When I finally arrived at the beach a man, who later I understood to be the father took the child in his arms to the ground. They all lay on the sand, crying. The staff of a luxury hotel nearby supplied them with food and water. Shortly after a tourist walked beside it. It was a surreal scene. The Iranian thanked those who had helped them and made ​​their way alone toward the country.” Photo REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis – LaPresse

4) Kos, Greece, 30 May 2015

Pakistani immigrants row their engineless dinghy, which was drifting out of control, in rough seas between Greece and Turkey, early May 30, 2015. Ahmad, one of the immigrants onboard the dinghy, said that they have been rowing for over five hours before eventually reaching a beach in central Kos town. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis – LaPresse

5) Lesbos, Greece, October 19, 2015

An Afghan migrant jumps off an overcrowded raft onto a beach at the Greek island of Lesbos. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis – LaPresse


An Afghan woman tries to warm up after landing in the middle of the storm on the island of Kos. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis – LaPresse

7) Kos, Greece, August 9, 2015

Syrian refugees taking a “selfie” after he arrived safely in Kos. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis – LaPresse

8) Kos, Greece, August 12, 2015

Amoun, 70, a blind Palestinian refugee who lived in the town of Aleppo in Syria, rests on a beach moments after arriving along with another forty on a dinghy in the Greek island of Kos, crossing a part of the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece. Behrakis says of the picture: “I was on the beach of Kos waiting for inflatables with migrants, which kept coming. When she got off her boat, I took some pictures and I gave the castaways addresses of the police station where to register, reassuring them, as my colleagues and I always do, that no one would hurt them. And it was then that I noticed an old lady who was sitting quietly on the beach. She seemed very at ease and a smile lit up her face. She seemed very calm. I approached a few meters and I took some photos as the sun in the morning gently lit up her face. I was astounded by the tranquility of the scene, and by her presence. I went over and I offered a piece of candy, a traditional gesture of hospitality in Greece. I wanted to ask her some questions to solve the mystery which seemed to surround her. I knelt in front of her and I brought the treat, saying ‘hello’ in Arabic. She seemed lost but her kind face smiled at me. She came to my hand and at that moment I realized that she was blind. I was overwhelmed by strong emotions. We exchanged words for the occasion in English and Arabic and then she took the food, shook hands with me in her strong squeeze, thanking me with a divine smile. His family was watching, some were smiling, others wept with joy, her face full of tears. This was one of my best mornings of the year.” REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis – LaPresse

9) Lesbos, Greece, October 21, 2015

Rescue jackets abandoned in the rain in Lesbos. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis – LaPresse

10) Kos, Greece, August 11, 2015

A Syrian family arrives in front of a tavern in Kos. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis – LaPresse

11) Idomeni, Greece, September 10, 2015

Migrants and refugees beg Macedonian policemen to allow passage to cross the border from Greece into Macedonia during a rainstorm, near the Greek village of Idomeni. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis – LaPresse

12) Lesbos, Greece, October 22, 2015

A Syrian refugee rests after she found on the beach of Lesbos. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis – LaPresse

13) Kos, Greece, 27 May 2015

Afghan migrants on the island of Kos. Despite the bad weather, the 30 of them managed to cross the sea between Greece and Turkey. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis – LaPresse

14) Idomeni, Greece, May 14, 2015

Kurdish Syrian immigrant Sahin Serko cries next to his 7-year-old daughter Ariana minutes after crossing the border into Macedonia, along with another 45 Syrian immigrants, near the Greek village of Idomeni in Kilkis prefecture. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis – LaPresse

15) Idomeni, Greece, September 10, 2015

A Syrian refugee kisses his daughter as he walks through a rainstorm towards Greece’s border with Macedonia, near the Greek village of Idomeni. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis – LaPresse

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